How to make a video brighter

If you shoot a video that is too dark, you can enhance its quality and brightness using a video editing program. However, you can only improve its brightness up to a certain point, even if you use the best professional editing program for it. Despite that caveat, you are able to enhance the brightness of a video by following a few steps.

Open the video footage in your preferred video editing program.

Drag the video clip from the "Import" or "Video Clip" window to the program's "Editing Timeline." This timeline, which is comprised of a number of video and audio tracks, progress and time duration bars and editing tools, is where the actual video editing is done in the program.

Look for the "Brightness" feature in your video-editing program. If you are using the latest version of the native Windows program "Windows Movie Maker," this feature can be accessed by clicking the "Visual Effects" tab on top of the screen, then selecting the "Brightness" button, which has a sliding bar that allows increasing or decreasing the selected video's brightness. If you are using Mac's iMovie, this feature can be accessed by clicking the program's "Brightness" slider. Alternatively, you can use the standard effect called "Hard Light" under iMovie's "Video Effects" menu to help improve the poor lighting of your video. Use your program's "Preview Window" to view how your video looks with the applied effect.

Render the edited video to finalise the brightness effect applied to it, then export the video to your preferred video file format, which typically include MOV, WMV, AVI or MP4.


Making a video brighter requires the use of a video-editing program or a colorgrading program to alter the footage's image attributes. Popular editing programs like Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro are already equipped with image enhancement features that both amateur and professional users can take advantage of. For more advanced enhancements geared toward professional productions, separate colorgrading programs are also available.


Be careful when altering the brightness of your video. While there is no rule on how much you can increase the brightness of a video, going beyond a reasonable limit will cause washed out footage to the point that much of the video's details are lost. This will also result in further deterioration of the video's quality.

Things You'll Need

  • Video footage for editing
  • Video-editing program
  • Computer
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About the Author

Rianne Hill Soriano is a freelance artist/writer/educator. Her diverse work experiences include projects in the Philippines, Korea and United States. For more than six years she has written about films, travel, food, fashion, culture and other topics on websites including Yahoo!, Yehey! and Herword. She also co-wrote a book about Asian cinema.